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Practising International Studies


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.


“There is nothing more practical than a good theory” said psychologist Kurt Lewin (1952). Practising International Studies is a consultancy project course where teams of students analyze real life cases and problems presented by organizational leaders that operate in international environments. These leaders appeal to student groups to use their broad and multiperspective background in International Studies and to provide them with novel insights that can assist them in their current and future decision-making.

First, the organizational leaders will visit the university to introduce their organization and international challenge. Student teams will have the opportunity to pose questions and gather the necessary information about the organization and the context surrounding the problem. Next, faculty members will teach students the academic background of these real life problems through lectures and the students will also attend two consultancy workshops where they will to learn about skills and techniques consultants need to deliver real value to clients.

With this input, student teams will translate the problem into relevant and analyzable research questions. Each team will then divide responsibilities by utilizing each member’s expertise in certain areas and disciplines. Based on this task division each student contributes to the team by conducting a study. Throughout tutor guided sessions the findings from all studies will be discussed, refined and integrated by each team. This results in a report containing an interdisciplinary analysis and detailed recommendations on the course of action for the organization. The report is presented in front of a committee consisting of representatives from the university and the organization. The committee will select a winning team based on the insights and recommendations communicated in the final report and presentation.

Course objectives

This course aims to:

  • expose students to the complexities and challenges of organizational life

  • build the ability to critically assess and evaluate real-life cases of organizations

  • teach concepts and ideas from International Studies as practical tools for analysis

  • expand the understanding of fundamental cultural differences and divisions

  • build the ability to brainstorm, debate and integrate perspectives through group work and collaboration

  • build skills to write and present insights in a professional and structured way


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

(Guest)lectures and tutorials

All lectures, workshops and tutorials are mandatory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or tutorial, please inform the instructor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final assignment.

Course Load

A brief calculation of the course load, broken down by:

  • Total course load for the course (number of EC x 28 hours), for a course of 5 EC is 140 hours

  • Time spent on attending lectures, workshops, tutorials and presentations (22 hours)

  • Time to conduct research and prepare for tutorials (72)

  • Time to write individual paper (23)

  • Time to write the final group report and prepare presentation (23)

Assessment method

  • Participation 10%

  • Individual report 40%

  • Final group report 40%

  • Presentation 10%

Note: The maximum possible grade to be obtained for re-submission of the individual report is a 6.0. No resit for the other assesment methods is possible.


Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrollment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

Reading materials will be posted on Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Hum – OSZ Practising International Studies